Today I sat with Kevin Ross and Christopher Bracey on News and Notes and had what I consider one of the most civilized, if not the first, good discussion about black conservatives on the radio. Farai and her producers did a great job in putting together the show under slightly adverse conditions. Ross is a Morehouse man who looks the part and we met in the hall outside of the studio. The segment we shared was the second. The first was the blogger's roundtable segment in which we covered the following.
A. Iraq and Oil
B. Barack & Flipflopping
C. Indigents in Hospitals.
It remains astounding to me how many people still pretend that there can only be one reason for a war. From now on, I'm going to bring a copy of the congressional joint resolution whenever I sense that I will be debating Iraq. They never get past that. I was hoping that some revelation of the facts about exactly how much (not much) oil is forthcoming that they would leaven their bile. No such luck. Starting 2013 the world can expect 1.5 million more barrels per day coming out of the six new fields. That will be split up how many ways? Who knows? But what's clear or should be clear to my opponents in this debate is that this amount, even if the US got 100% of it, would constitute less than 5% of our daily needs. I tried to inject mathematical logic into the discussion but that was very difficult to do. So I simply emphasized that for the first time the Iraqi people themselves get the money.
On Barack, I'm particularly interested to see how furious those whose audacious dreams he shattered will be. As I said the other day, Obama is now simply talking sense rather than crazy talk. There's only so much crazy talk he can spew, and now he has to placate people living in the world of reality, as opposed to such hard Afrocentrics characterized by Wright's version of liberation theology, ass-backwards generals like Wesley Clark and other associated donuts now being splattered under the Obama bus.
As for the poor woman who died at King's County, I really wanted to emphasize how it is that liberal sentiment has caused this situation. Whenever you have laws that assert an indigent person's right to sleep in public places, you deaden the public's ability to be outraged at the very idea. So you see somebody sprawled asleep (or comatose, who checks their pulse) on a subway or a sidewalk or a park bench, and you say that he has a right to be there, then you don't roust them or say 'somethings wrong here'. That's just exactly the kind of mentality that allows people to lay comatose on public hospital waiting room floors - somebody has defended their 'right' to.
In the second segment, I joined Ross and Bracey, whom I still owe an apology for not reviewing his book here, to talk about black conservatism itself and how we are dealing with the current campaign's cards.
I dig McCain for several important reasons. Broadly speaking, you either have governors or Congresscritters running for President. When you have governors, you check out their state's budget and how well he ran the joint. Did education improve, did he balance the budget. No such luck with these two. With Critters, you focus on what their legislative history is like. Obama has none. Clinton's was all about moderation in Iraq and health care. A known quantity. McCain is practically legendary for resisting strong-arm party line politics. He actually forged bipartisan coalitions and passed significant legislation. He completely resisted earmarks, he killed the Borking practice of filibustering to stall judicial appointments via the Gang of 14, and he changed campaign finance law. This is a man who knows how to get things done in Congress, and he has said that he wants 'question time' following the British model in which the President answers hardball questions from Congress publicly broadcast. What's not to love? The choice for me is obvious.
Additionally, with regard to black political empowerment, McCain is old school, not evangelical Christian Right. This is the kind of candidate that would support men like Jack Kemp. All Cobb readers should know that's my kind of Republican.
I made the point, which I think we should all keep in mind, that the Republicans are not going to magically find some voodoo to appeal to black voters. When it comes to the ethnic vote, it is what it is, and policy be damned. The only way to get the ethnic black vote is to run ethnic black candidates. Call it the role-model vote, call it whatever. That's our job as black Republicans to energize that black base, and all it takes is the single right candidate. I think Michael Steele still has that capacity, but for me personally - well I don't vote for personalities. So I'm in an odd position of second guessing the black ethnic vote - I'm not part of it. But as soon as that hump is gotten over, it becomes no big deal and people will realize that the Southern Strategy will be as rhetorically dead as it is dead as policy. In other words, black voters need a black voice to say 'it's cool'.
Ross sees in Obama a stepping stone up which happens to have a left foot on it. Existentially, I think that is a big nothing, but again it is because I wouldn't pander to an ethnic vote. Still, Ross is probably right to triangulate Obama into the house that Powell built. Word is that Powell will support Obama, but I've lately had issues with old Colin. Quite frankly, I would have rather that it be Harold Ford, if I had my druthers, and I think that if Ford were in Obama's place that would be more of my nightmare come true. But knowing what Obama is, and has been makes me a great deal more comfortable voting for McCain who is standout in his own right. Obama could have been a blue dog, but instead has been flirting with Weather Underground types. No freaking way.
Anyway, the hookup with Ross could be profitable for The Raven Group.